Slapstick Festival’s Silent Comedy Gala

Charlie Chaplin - City LightsToday we’re thrilled to be able to release details about the lineup for Slapstick Festival’s Silent Comedy Gala 2014 – and to announce that tickets are now on sale!

He’s Back….and with a 39 piece orchestra!

Yes! Charlie Chaplin is back and in style at Bristol Slapstick Festival this coming January. The Little Tramp was noticeably absent from our 2013 programme and now we can reveal why – we’ve been saving him for 2014 mainly because, as most of you will probably know, 2014 is the centenary of Chaplin’s ‘Tramp’ character.

The full programme for our 10th anniversary will be announced later this year but we can let on that it’s shaping up very nicely so far! As ever there’s going to be some great stuff for fans of silent & visual, news of which, in time honoured fashion, we’ll slowly dribble out to you over the next few months.

Full Gala Lineup

And so to todays exciting news – the full filmic line up for our 10th silent comedy gala which will, once again, be at Colston Hall.

The short story is that we’ll be screening the film most critics consider to be Charlie Chaplin’s magnum opus, City Lights (1933), as well as Laurel & Hardy’s hilarious film Two Tars (1928) and Max Davidson’s Pass The Gravy (1928), one of the funniest films you’ll ever see! The special guest host for the evening will be announced in September but to give you an idea of who it might be previous gala hosts have included Paul Merton, Michael Palin, Griff Rhys Jones and Victoria Wood.

Three classic film masterpieces – and as per usual all will screen with world class musical accompaniment.

Over the past five decades ‘City Lights’ has consistently featured in the ‘Top 50 best films Ever Made’ lists (Sight and Sound critics poll) and is number 38 in the AFI’s top 100 comedies of all time. The film is both deeply moving and wonderfully funny. ‘City Lights’ is Chaplin’s silent masterpiece, the film he dared to produce in 1931 when the ‘talkies’ were in full swing. His boldness produced one of the landmarks of world cinema.

The synopsis: The Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl who thinks he is a handsome millionaire. He sacrifices all to cure her – so that she sees the reality. The final scene has been called “the greatest piece of acting and the highest moment in movies ever.” (James Agee).

This will be a rare opportunity to see this hilarious and inventive feature  accompanied by Chaplin’s own original score performed live by a  39 piece orchestra (The Bristol Ensemble) which will be conducted by maestro Gunter A. Buchwald.


The evening also features onscreen comedy genius from Laurel & Hardy in their classic comedy short Two Tars (1928). Two Tars is 22mins of pure joy in which the inimitable Stan and Ollie find themselves wreaking havoc in a huge traffic jam with hilarious consequences. It will be ccompanied live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi.

Finally we’ll have an exclusive screening of Pass The Gravy (1928). If you don’t know this comedy gem this will be your chance to discover the rare onscreen genius of comedy master Max Davidson in one of the funniest films you’ll ever see.

With additional onstage music and pre-event foyer entertainment, we’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary in Style and would be thrilled if you’d like to come & join us.

Ticket details

The gala will be at Bristol’s Colston Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 24th January 2014. They will be priced at:


You can buy tickets online from Colston Hall’s website by clicking on this link: silent comedy gala, by phoning Colston Hall directly on 0117 922 3686 or 0117 204 7220 or by popping into their booking office in person at Colston Street. BS1 5AR.

As ever buying a ticket in advance is strongly recommended & we look forward to seeing you there!

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  1. #1 by Guenter Buchwald on September 14, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    CITY LIGHTS Colston Hall Fri JAN 24 in 2014 !!!!! not 2013 … Guenter

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